Project B builds momentum
Two months after launch, RAD announces further Project B developments, including new activities in Australia, plans for a virtual global mass performance of newly-commissioned choreography, and new financial support.
Following a launch hosted by London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel on 1 June Project B has been picking up momentum in the dance world. And, today the RAD released more information about Project B, its series of initiatives aimed at celebrating and inspiring the next generation of male dancers.
New award for innovation
A new Project B Award for Innovation in Male Dance was announced last night as part of the 2018 Dance School of the Year Awards, masterminded by dance teacher and entrepreneur Anne Walker MBE.
Anne said: 'Dance School of the Year has always applauded the teaching of boys within the schools who enter these Awards and so we are delighted to work with the Royal Academy of Dance in 2018 in order to be able to award the Project B Award for Innovation in Male Dance. I am certain it will encourage more schools to really think about, and focus on, the way they train and encourage boys and young men within their schools.'
Entries will open in January, and the winner of a two-hour masterclass with RAD Male Dance Ambassador and BRB Principal Dancer, Iain Mackay, will be announced in summer 2018.
Choreography designed for boys, and opportunities to perform
Throughout August, choreography specifically commissioned for Project B, featuring moves inspired by sports heroes, film characters and superheroes will be made available to learn via the Seenit video app.
Choreographer and BRB Principal Dancer Iain Mackay said: 'The inspiration for my choreography comes from all the boys I’ve had a fantastic time teaching since I started delivering Boys Only! workshops with the RAD over five years ago. Every step has been picked up from what the boys wanted to add into the creative part of the classes; movements they thought were cool and that I believed could transfer through to classical ballet movements. From the Usain Bolt and Transformer pose to the Ronaldo jump (which is basically an assemblé), and the ever popular Dab.'
A series of four clips will be released over the summer holidays, and boys, dads, uncles, and grandfathers are encouraged to upload clips of themselves learning the choreography. In doing so, they’ll have the opportunity to appear in a mass performance video clip later in the year.
Plans are also afoot for a live Project B mass performance, led by the original Team Project B, including Iain Mackay: watch this space.
New activities and support
RAD Australia is leaping on the Project B bandwagon too, staging a summer workshop just for boys in Adelaide in January 2018. Featuring an all-male faculty, and with ballet, hip hop, tap, and contemporary on the menu, places for Boys Dance 2018 are available now.
The RAD is also announcing more details today of its commitment to invest £30k over the next three years to fund boys dance activities, as well as capacity-building measures to get more men into dance teaching.
From bursaries and hardship support for male dance students, to new activities around the UK, to tuition bursaries to encourage more men to join the dance teaching profession, these investment plans will mean more boys can access the benefits of dance.
An anonymous donation has also made possible the creation of the Kevin O’Hare Scholarship, named for the current Director of The Royal Ballet. This will enable one male student per year to attend the residential Dartington summer school, and complements the boys only bursaries already available linked to RAD summer schools: the Frank Freeman Scholarships and a newly-created Project B Tuition Award.